The economy is currently losing out in the massive opportunities inherent in the multi billion dollars blue economy due to the inability to harness the enormous potential. This was disclosed yesterday by the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, at the 2019 African Day of Seas and Oceans tagged “Harnessing Nigerias Marine Biodiversity for Accelerated Growth”, held in Lagos.
According to him, even though the global community is looking towards the ocean and sea for economic prosperity, such cannot be said of African countries.
According to him, there is need for government and critical stakeholders in the maritime sector to put measures in place that would facilitate and promote sustainable use, protection and preservation of the abundant resources in Nigeria seas and oceans.
He said, “Marine biodiversity as you are aware consists of the different species, their riches and abundance in the world’s oceans and seas. The sustainability of these diverse species which are abound in African seas and oceans is not only important to us a Africans, but also of a direct economic benefits to us as a nation.”
He pointed out that while the blue economy contributed $962 billion to China’s economy in 2014, the United States got $258 billion in 2010.
He added, “the global community is looking more and more towards the seas and oceans for economic prosperity. According to an Economist Intelligence Unit Report (EIUR), China’s ocean economy contributed $962 billion or 10%of GDP in 2014 employing 9m people. The United States similarly valued its ocean economy at $258billion in 2010or 1.8% of the Gross Domestic Product.”
“These statistics underscore the inherent and diverse opportunities which Nigeria can as a nation use for rapid economic transformation and development.” He however assured that the agency would ensure formulation of policies that would develop the nation’s marine biodiversity for economic growth.